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Latest developments in epidemic control on Feb 19 (1)

Updated: Feb 19,2020 07:11 AM    Xinhua

BEIJING — China has stepped up efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Here are the latest developments:

— Renowned Chinese respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan on Feb 18 warned the public to keep their waste pipes unobstructed as the novel coronavirus may spread through drainage systems.

— China will launch inspections of the novel coronavirus prevention and control measures implemented by education authorities and on campus, according to a recent circular issued by an education supervising office under the Ministry of Education.

— The daily number of newly confirmed novel coronavirus cases reported across China on Feb 17 dropped to under 2,000 for the first time, Mi Feng, an official with the National Health Commission, said Feb 18.

Feb 17 also saw the new confirmed infections of novel coronavirus outside Hubei reduced to a number lower than 100 for the first time, Mi said.

— Hubei will adopt more thorough and forceful measures to find patients with fever in order to further contain the epidemic.

The province will check records of all fever patients who have visited doctors since Jan 20, as well as people who have bought over-the-counter cough and fever medications at both brick-and-mortar and online drug stores.

— China is resuming normal operation of road traffic in regions outside of Hubei province, amid the country's efforts to go back to normal economic activities along with the fight against the novel coronavirus, the Ministry of Transport said on Feb 18.

— Chinese courts have been mobilized to promote and improve online litigation services as the country is battling the novel coronavirus outbreak, according to a circular released by the Supreme People's Court.

— Yiwu International Trade Market, the world's leading small commodities market in East China's Zhejiang province, reopened on Feb 18 to customers from all around the world after delaying for nearly two weeks.

— Buses in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong province, have been installed with thermometers with facial recognition for faster and more precise detection.

— China reported 1,886 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 98 deaths on Feb 17 from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

Among the deaths, 93 were in Hubei province, three in Henan, and one in Hebei and Hunan respectively. Another 1,432 new suspected cases were reported Feb 17.

— China's daily new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus pneumonia outside Hubei, the epicenter province of the outbreak, have since Feb 3 dropped for 14 consecutive days. A total of 79 new confirmed cases were reported on Feb 17 outside Hubei.

— Feb 17 saw 1,701 people walk out of hospital after recovery. A total of 12,552 patients infected with the novel coronavirus had been discharged from hospital after recovery by the end of Feb 17.

By the end of Feb 17, a total of 1,868 people had died of the disease and 72,436 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection had been reported in 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps in China.

— Hubei province, center of the novel coronavirus outbreak, reported 1,807 new confirmed cases and 93 new deaths on Feb 17. The latest report brought the total confirmed cases in the hardest-hit province to 59,989. Wuhan, the provincial capital, recorded a total of 42,752 confirmed cases.

— The National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body, mulled postponing its annual session as related matters were studied when its Chairperson's Council met on Feb 17.

The third session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee was originally planned to open on March 3 in Beijing.

— A joint expert team consisting of experts from China and the World Health Organization on Feb 17 began field inspections on the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus outbreak. The team members are scheduled to go to Beijing, Guangdong province and Sichuan province to conduct inspections.

— As Chinese firms cautiously resumed business amid the coronavirus epidemic, some entrepreneurs opted to nucleic acid tests to make sure their employees are safe.